A gorgeous fall themed salad with an epic name but a relatively simple procedure. Roasting fennel lightly caramelizes and brings out the delicate licorice flavor. The crunch of roasted hazelnuts and chewy tang of dried cranberries makes this an ideal salad for winter holidays, but don’t wait for Black Friday: make this lovely dish any blustery cold weekend and serve with your favorite fall soup. Allow the fennel and shallots adequate roasting time to ensure that their deep, sweet flavors really develop.
Recipe and photos from Veganomicon, 10th Anniversary Edition: The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero, © 2017. Available from Da Capo Lifelong Books, an imprint of Perseus Books, LLC, a subsidiary of Hachette Book Group, Inc. Reprinted by permission.
Time: 1 hour 30 minutes, mostly inactive
- 2 heads fennel, sliced into ¼-inch-thick chunks
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ teaspoon salt
- A few twists of freshly ground black pepper
- 3 large shallots, sliced in half
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons hazelnut or walnut oil, or more olive oil
- 3 tablespoons champagne vinegar or white wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- ½ teaspoon dried tarragon
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 small head chicory, washed and torn into bite-size pieces
- ¾ cup hazelnuts, roasted, skins removed (see tip) and chopped coarsely
- ¾ cup dried cranberries Freshly ground black pepper
Roast the vegetables: Preheat the oven to 375°F. Place the sliced fennel on a large baking sheet, then rub with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, a pinch of salt, and some pepper. Rub the shallots with a little extra oil and place in the corner of the baking sheet. Bake the vegetables for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the edges of the fennel are browned and the shallots are starting to caramelize. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
Prepare the dressing: In a food processor, combine the roasted shallots, olive oil, hazelnut oil, vinegar, maple syrup, tarragon, thyme, nutmeg, and salt. Blend until creamy, pour into a container, cover, and chill until ready to use.
Assemble the salad: Place the chicory, roasted fennel, hazelnuts, and cranber- ries in a large bowl. Pour in the dressing, add a twist of freshly ground black pepper, and toss with salad tongs until everything is completely coated. Serve immediately.
Cleaning chicory: Just like spinach, fresh chicory can be quite sandy. Wash thoroughly by soaking in cold water for a few minutes, swish around in the water, and drain. Repeat one or more times until no sand remains in the leaves or bottom of the bowl.
The easiest way to toast hazelnuts: Preheat the oven to 300°F. Place the raw hazelnuts on a baking sheet and roast for 8 to 10 minutes, until the skins are peeling and the nuts start to smell and appear toasted: be careful no to burn. Remove from the oven. Immediately pour the hot hazelnuts into the center of a large, rough kitchen towel. Twist the ends of the towel tightly around the nuts to form a sack. Agitate the sack vig- orously for a few minutes to remove the skins. Some skin might still stick to the hazelnuts, but this is okay. Pick the hazelnuts out of the crumbled skins and set aside in a bowl to cool. The quickest way to clean the towel of hazelnut skins is to shake it outside.
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